Message from Petrou Ralli, 28/8

Torture inside Allodapon, migrant detention centre of Petrou Ralli, Athens. The migrant men imprisoned are being violently beaten up and deprived of sanitation as a way of torture. Their desperate voices are asking for intervention and support for this violent situation to get to an end.

Communication from a prisoner man from Petrou Ralli to the Initiative of Solidarians for Petrou Ralli.

A translation of the message:

Today is August 28, 2020, we are talking about Petrou Ralli, the detention centre where aliens are living inside. We are talking precisely about 2020, when people are living in this condition… I went to see a friend who comes from Morocco, I can’t say his name, he was locked inside his room. He wakes up and he needs to use the toilet. He calls the cops: “I need the toilet, I need the toilet” because they need to come and open the door for him to go and use the toilet. Then four cops walk inside, they take him to the yard, they beat him black and blue—his shoulder is dislocated, his body, it’s all full of cuts—and he’s a person who is 1.5m tall, 40 kg, he’s not a very tough person. What is this situation we’re living in in 2020, inside cages made for pitbulls or boxers, and the Greek state is making them. It’s a disgrace for the state that has made them.

I saw him with my very eyes, his neck is cut and bandaged. It’s a situation, how can I tell you, from the yard which is 20 metres for four wings, each wing has 30 minutes to be in the yard, the rest of the 24 hours you’re locked behind the bars and you’re knocking on the door—we’re always hearing this thing: “Police, police, toilet, toilet!” Inside it’s filthy, inside it’s full of trash. Bottles with piss in them, with shit, because they’re not opening the door for them to go. Whoever is hearing my voice, please, the year is 2020, help, help, help, because inside this wing, which is rectangular like a matchbox, probably no one on the outside knows that inside there are people with souls. This is a fridge for people. And the people in this fridge have a soul. Please, please, whoever’s hearing me, help, help.

Message from Petrou Ralli, 23/8

In Petrou Ralli migrant detention centre, Athens, prisoners have always faced bad living conditions, psychological violence, substandard medical care, as self-organised groups supporting prisoner women have documented. Two weeks ago, after cops sexually attacked prisoner women for the last time, the women prisoners who were in Petrou Ralli were transferred to Amygdaleza migrant dentention centre. Since then, the cops have had free rein to increase the level of violence and torture on the men. Solidarity is needed urgently!

Communication from a prisoner man from Petrou Ralli to the Initiative of Solidarians for Petrou Ralli.

Good afternoon. Today is August 23, 2020. I am a prisoner who has currently been on the third floor of Petrou Ralli Allodapon for fourteen months. I want to talk about a person, a prisoner—as they say he is a prisoner, there’s no prisoner because of papers. He was with us for about three months with a serious illness: hepatitis and some pretty large round things in his throat, I don’t know the medical word for it. But in horrible condition. From the morning until the evening he’d be crying, from the morning until the evening we’d be fighting with the police, with the nurse, with the doctor, to send him to hospital. A thousand times they took him to the hospital, for nothing, they just took him for a ride and they came back. Finally on the night of August 17, 2020 we managed (by fighting with the police, with punches and kicks both from them and from us) to have him sent to hospital, and they kept him in Evangelismos, which was on duty on that day. Luckily, there were some people outside that we know and we called them and they did something to keep him in hospital.

This person in his horrible state… The night that we made them send him, he could barely breathe, and they would say, “It’s nothing, he took drugs, he’ll be fine.” And every time they went and came back, the cops would tell us, “It’s not the illness he has that almost killed him, what almost killed him were the psychiatric drugs he’s taken.” This is another very big issue that we have on the third floor as prisoners with serious illnesses. We have no psychiatrist. We have one doctor, I don’t know where they found her and they brought her here, she is the pathologist, she is the psychiatrist, she is the surgeon, she is everything, and she’s nothing. As a prisoner, I say that this woman is nothing. And she gives us these drugs… Luckily, I’m not on psychiatric drugs, but the rest of the guys… Because here there’s not even a tv, not even a radio, not even a thing. And how long can you spend talking, however much you talk it will be over eventually. You need drugs to sleep and relax. There’s bars and iron everywhere.

They give such heavy drugs, psychiatric drugs, that everyone’s belly is bloated and they have some lumps one in his neck, one in his belly, one in his back, everyone has developed this thing. And the person who was in hospital, thankfully, with the help of some people we know from outside, who are humans not just in the word, they’re humans in their soul; they went there, they saw him, they managed—despite the difficulties with the coronavirus measures—they managed to see him and then they told us the shitty state they found him in: no shoes, no flip flops, not one pair of boxers, nothing, in his shitty state. They brought him things, they helped him. Everything they could do, everything in their power, they did it, both the doctor and the people we know. The doctor, not the doctor from Allodapon, the one from outside. They’ve helped him a lot. And especially us in here, as well, since before, when in the building next to us there were girl prisoners. Now the girls left more or less twenty days ago. Things here have got extremely hard. Because the girls who were here had people on the outside, various organisations were watching, and they themselves would fight for the food, for these things, and we’re always saying, “Girls, you took care of the men”, things were lighter. Since the girls left—and why did they leave? due to sexual harassment that cops had done to women—and they have moved from there, the people who were accused of this situation I told you about sent them away so that they’d be lost. And ever since then it’s been tougher. And our food, I give you my word, to whoever hears this message, not even a pig can eat this food. Bread mixed with their hands and in open crates, they fill them with trash, the bread and food that they bring us. And what kind of food? Every day now it’s rice-spaghetti-rice-spaghetti-rice-spaghetti, every day.

We have a big problem with hospitals, with doctors, we have some people here with serious illness, they’ve brought a prisoner next to us these two weeks, he’s alone, today he made a decision to set fire, to sew his mouth shut, to do something. He screams, he says “I do have a residence permit, why are they keeping me locked up?” and they’ve stuffed him with all these psychiatric drugs, […], I don’t know, they want to turn him into a zombie. I want whoever hears this message to keep an eye on us, we’re screaming to you, sos, help, please help.

In the end, now we don’t know what this person’s doing. I’ll manage to see him and talk to him and I’ll say the rest of it better. We as people here, we have no right as humans. What the cops write on paper—they’ve written our rights on the door—none of it applies to us. Nothing applies to us. Our windows are torn, they’re broken. All we see is iron—bars and iron. There’s nothing else.


Hunger strike in Amygdaleza, 21/8

Today, 21/8, detainees in Amygdaleza refused to eat, demanding to be released. The conditions in Amygdaleza are inhuman, and contact with the outside world is minimal because of COVID measures.


Hello. Today we did a hunger strike, we didn’t take food. For freedom. They’re not releasing people. I don’t know, now we didn’t take food here in Amygdaleza, the people with Algerian nationality didn’t take food and want to understand why we’re not getting out, why, only this… these people, some of whom have asked for deportation and have been waiting for eight, nine months. This is a prison for us, it’s not a camp, it’s not a detention centre for papers. Now it’s become like a prison, a prison without a trial.

News from Amigdaleza, August 2020

Good evening. I hope you’re well and all is well. Now we don’t know and I can’t talk about the news from outside, we have no connection with the outside, but in here there’s some movement, they’ve taken people to the islands, they’ve brought new people, the place we’re in has become a lot more crowded. There’s already a lot of stupid things, a few days ago a guy was sick and they weren’t taking him to hospital and people gathered who wanted to break the door; then the police took the guy to hospital, I mean only with trouble and problems did they do their job. It’s true that we’re living in the shit, in a lot of –if this is the correct word– a lot of shit. In the time of the coronavirus, we are living something else in here. I hope you’re well and all is well.

Medical care is shit. It’s completely horrible. I can see it because I have a problem, and I see what they’re doing there. I think and I believe that the biggest assholes in here are the doctors who are here. Even more so than the police. Yes, there’s a serious problem with doctors. They’re very big assholes. And yes, they have brought women in here, too, and to guard the women they have brought a woman cop, or two.